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Thread: Shellac Storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SW Ont, Canada
    Posts
    25

    Question Shellac Storage

    I've been mixing my own for a while now, usually a small quantity of each of one and three pound cut (dewaxed). People say to store in in a glass container and to only mix what you need, I use Mason jars and try to mix about what I need but there is always some left over that I would rather not throw out. My problem is getting at the stuff once I screw the lid back on the bottle and let it sit there for a few days or a a couple weeks or whatever, the shellac just sticks the lid to the glass and I often cannot twist lids off to use the rest. Does anyone know of a way around this? Are people using what they need then throwing the rest out and mixing more when they next need shellac? There must be a better way.

  2. #2
    I just buy the dewaxed Zinsser sanding sealer by the quart. I tied the shellac-flakes-and-alcohol thing a number of times, but I just don't have the time or patience for it. I go through shellac fast enough that it doesn't have time to go bad.

    If you did want to save your home-brew you could reuse a metal shellac can. A regular paint can won't work; shellac is acidic, and it will attack the metal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,634
    I would recommend keeping the left over in a glass jar...Ive had shellac cans corrode on the bottom and leak all over.

    When the mason jar lid is stuck, I run it under hot water. I dont think it dissolves the shellac, but I think it expands the lid some...enough to twist it off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,896
    Wipe the lid and rim/threads with with a rag soaked in pure alcohol before you screw on the lid. Some folks spread handiwrap over the jar before screwing on the lid. I have no idea if handiwrap is shellac safe?
    Bill D.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,097
    My shellac lids get stuck too. Its a small inconvenience to have with fresh flakes.
    Aj

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Wipe the lid and rim/threads with with a rag soaked in pure alcohol before you screw on the lid. Some folks spread handiwrap over the jar before screwing on the lid. I have no idea if handiwrap is shellac safe?
    Bill D.
    I use wax paper.

  7. #7
    I wipe the lid and jar threads with a paper towel wet with DNA. I've been decanting and storing shellac like this for years (the method, not the shellac). No problem. The time spent making sure you really clean off the mating surfaces is worth it when the lid come off when you want it to. I see no problem with the addition of a bit of waxed paper.
    She said How many woodworking tools do you need?
    I said Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    454
    I switched to using plastic lids on my Mason jars and as recommended several times above, wipe down the threads. The plastic seems a bit less prone to sticking if I'm a bit lazy in the cleanup.

    You can also run hot water over the lid (be careful and don't get it into the shellac, dry everything off before opening) and sometimes that helps a bit.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,217
    I acquired wide mouth media storage bottles like these when we were closing a lab down. They have plastic lids with some kind of silicone-like seal and a drip-stop pouring rim. They are great for shellac, I've never had one stick. They are resistant to any of the common woodshop solvents I've tried. The only downside is that if you have to buy them new they cost about 15 bucks each. If you have a local used lab supply dealer they often have shelves full of them and will either sell them cheap or give them to you.

    1112713_01.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    346
    I store in a cabinet in the basement. It lasts at least a year.

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